( RIA Novosti ) - Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov announced on Thursday that fresh opposition rallies are to take place in Moscow and St. Petersburg on November 24 and 25.
"We have prepared an appeal to members of different political forces that are in opposition or believed to be in opposition to the current government to take part in the protests," the ex-world chess champion and head of the United Civic Front political party said.
Kasparov, a main figure in The Other Russia opposition coalition comprising liberals, leftists and nationalists, said the rallies were designed to highlight the coalition's scorn for elections to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, due on December 2.
None of the parties that make up The Other Russia have registration to stand in the coming parliamentary elections.
President Vladimir Putin announced in early October that he would head ruling United Russia's candidate list for the elections and would participate in TV broadcasts as part of its election campaign. United Russia members currently dominate the State Duma, regional legislatures and governments.
"We are suggesting [that people] cross out all the parties on the ballot papers and put down 'The Other Russia' on them instead," Kasparov said. "This is our form of boycott".
He said voters could thereby reinstate the "against all" choice on ballot papers. The option was abolished last year.
Echoing his political ally, writer Eduard Limonov, who leads the outlawed National Bolshevik Party, said election authorities would have to report the number of "spoiled" papers. "This will show the amount of votes we would have received," he said.
The opposition leaders said they had not yet obtained permission for the rallies, dubbed Dissenters' Marches, and did not say how many participants they expected to take part.
Dissenters' Marches were held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Samara between April and June this year. The Kremlin drew harsh international criticism over the perceived aggressive police response at several of the marches. In April, around 400 people, including Garry Kasparov, were detained in Moscow and St Petersburg.
In early October, Kasparov was selected as the sole candidate for Russia's opposition, criticized for weakness and lack of coordination, in presidential elections in March 2008. Even if allowed to register, Kasparov is unlikely to be able to pose a major challenge to any candidate boasting Putin's approval.
In line with the Constitution, President Putin, who has remained very popular among Russians, is not allowed to stand for a third consecutive term.